The Benjamin Franklin Award is awarded by the Independent Book Publishers Association. It’s a biggie in this burgeoning field. The awards ceremony were held last weekend in Salt Lake City.
So… “Yo Miz!” won the silver. Not the gold. But who wants gold, anyway? Ben looks better in silver. Jefferson looked better in gold.
Here’s an excerpt from “Yo Miz!” entitled, “A Murderer Chills In The Library.”
(I’m subbing for a small credit recovery class held in the library at the Heritage School in el barrio, NYC. The kids and I get to talking about stuff. Then one of them, Luis, opens up to me.)
“I murdered someone,” says Luis.
I’m speechless. I look Luis in the eye. I think he’s telling the truth.
I look around. The library is clear except for my four students.
“Are you telling me the truth?”
“Who’d you murder?”
“My stepfather,” he says.
“He was bothering my mother.”
“I stabbed him in the neck with a knife.”
“How old were you?”
Another pause. I don’t think he’s making this up.
“I finished counseling,” he adds. “I was addicted to it.”
“Addicted to what?” I ask.
“Murder,” he clarifies. “I wanted to keep on killing.”
“And now…?” I ask.
“I’m not addicted to it anymore. They’re gonna erase the record after I’m eighteen.”
He’s so sweet, low key. I feel safe but I take note: I didn’t see any metal detectors. I hope a) his addiction to killing is truly in remission and b) he is unarmed.